Letter: Seniors have paid – and continue to pay – for their perks

To the editor;

Re: “Cities urged to end seniors discounts,” (March 12).

To the editor;

Re: “Cities urged to end seniors discounts,” (March 12).

Mr. Harry Kitchen, a professor emeritus at Trent University and Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy, wants to abolish seniors discounts.

Mr. Kitchen argues against seniors enjoying reduced transit fares, lower user fees for such things as fitness classes and other discounted municipal services.

Like other seniors, I have worked 40 to 50 years, and have developed and paid taxes towards numerous programs, and continue to pay taxes, even in our retirement years.

Some have made good investments, worked hard to get ahead. Some did not, but whatever the situation, it seems (according to Mr. Kitchen’s way of thinking) that if you worked hard all your life and put money away over a certain level, you should be punished by not being eligible for a few perks!

If Mr. Kitchen wants to abolish senior discounts for transit, well fine, then, go ahead but at the same time abolish the discounts enjoyed by students, who also get a transit discount, and get rid of the free passes enjoyed by bureaucrats working at TransLink.

Stop the discounts for fitness classes and then enjoy the empty, mid-week facilities and watch the increase in health services go up because of unfit seniors.

Do away with free injection sites, free needles, free crack pipes and free heroin! Who is more deserving of a few perks, drug addicts or seniors? Go ahead and keep the measly $275 dollar discount I receive on my property taxes, but then (because I no longer have children in school and have not for the past 15 years) stop making me pay $787 in school taxes.

Also stop asking me to use my taxes to pay for child tax credits and subsidized day care as I no longer have children at home or in daycare. Let’s make it a level playing field and stop discounts and subsidies for all.

Maybe if the cities want to save money, maybe  they should stop paying people like Mr. Kitchen to conduct these useless studies, which I assume  are conducted by free  student labour, who are also receiving subsidized education at (including senior) tax payers’ expense!

Maybe we should stop subsidizing post secondary education also. Once these students get their degrees and obtain good paying jobs I wonder if they will offer discounts to the seniors who helped pay for their education?

Politicians must remember that seniors vote and there are many. Maybe they should just watch their spending.

J. Edwards

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